Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Hard Choices - How Do We Make Them?

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Jul 10, 2014 2:34 PM

I listened to most of a TED talk on "hard choices." The speaker is a philospher who kept talking in circles, in my humble opinion, about the fact that hard choices are hard because they are equally valid, even when more of one choice  is tallied in. For example, the decision between two jobs or two potential romantic partners is hard when their are pros and cons for each and even adding to the valence or weight of one of the pros doesn't change the equation significantly. Duh? After 15 minutes, I stopped listening because it was so obvious to me that the choice could not be made logically and that there could be a third choice or a compromise, which she hadn't mentioned yet, as well.

Then, I got in my car and heard the Indigo Girls on Sirius radio sing about hard choices. They recommended making them from the heart or gut without so much obsessive, wordy analysis. Sounds briliant to me. In fact, that's how it works in the corporate world, where as a consultant to industry a long time ago, I helped executives choose between alternative employees and products on which "felt right." Also, in fact, I had the same opportunity when my husband showed me a possible condo in which to downsize from our present house at some point, and the logic to simplify was right, but I felt like crying. Therein lay the answer for that particular downsize option. Compromise will happen in that area when we see something which feels right for both of us, eventually.

So, I say that when there are hard choices to make, it's ok to think about the pros and cons of each, especially what we don't want to live with or without. But, please let's allow ourselves to feel our full emotional reactions to what would be the results of the choice. Also, let's consider other alternatives, like not one of two romantic partners but being open to someone new or independence until someone better comes along. Like neither job of the two, or one of them with modifications negotiated, or looking for other possibilities or even other fields, if possible.  Only then, can our decision-making make sense and become easier. 

Tagged under , , , , , , ,

back to top

Post a comment

Give Now

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »